John Floyd
Motorsport columnist
2 minute read
25 Oct 2017
8:51 am

This new era is dreadful!

John Floyd

The decision to take away Max Verstappen’s podium position is questionable.

So the Constructor’s title for 2017 has been settled, after Lewis Hamilton’s victory and Valtteri Bottas’s fifth place, handing Mercedes their fourth consecutive championship with three rounds remaining.

On the Drivers’ front Ferrari’s Sebastien Vettel took the second spot and kept his title hopes alive, but only just.

Hamilton has now extended his points to 331 against Vettel’s 265. With only 75 points still available it would take a miracle to prevent the Englishman from taking his fourth driver’s title.

This weekend it will be a home race for Sergio Perez as the circus moves to Mexico. I am afraid that after the prerace shenanigans in the USA the word circus is very apt.

I was wary from the start when it was announced that Michael Buffer was to introduce the drivers in his full world boxing mode.

It appears that we have just witnessed a new debacle on the F1 front.

No disrespect to Mr. Buffer whose booming baritone brought forth competitors from a stars and stripes covered entrance, but if this is the start of the new era with Liberty – Bernie, we miss you! It was dreadful.

Next we will have interviews with the drivers a la Miss World, when each will be asked what global act of goodwill they would do if they won the title.

Please, tell me it is not real.

The post-race decision regarding Max Verstappen and his “out of bounds” excursion was curious.

I agreed with the Dutchman when he questioned the decision and said that many had done exactly as he had all weekend but received no penalty.

Verstappen said: “It is never nice to be about to step onto the podium and then have it taken away. “I am happy with fourth place but it’s the way I got there thathurts. “I got a five second penalty and one penalty point because I ran wide on a track with no limits that everyone is running wide on all weekend – why am I the one to get punished? “We had an amazing race with loads of overtakes and action and then due to 5cm or 10cm of kerb the result is changed.”

The subsequent drop to fourth spot allowed Kimi Raikkonen to gain more points for Ferrari and himself. A good drive from Carlos Sainz in his first appearance for Renault – his seventh position finish bodes well for the young Spaniard’s future.

Kiwi Brendon Hartley finished a creditable 13th out of the remaining 16 car field on his F1 debut.